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Don’t Behave Like Bullies, Buhari Warns Officers, Men Of Armed Forces

President Muhamma­du Buhari yesterday warned officers and men of the Armed Forces, to resist the temptation of behaving like bullies in the course of carrying out their constitutional duties to safeguard the territorial in­tegrity of the country.

This was even as he noted that the fight against terror­ism cannot be realized with­out a credible and effective military.

President Buhari gave the warning on the occasion of the passing out parade of 399 officer Cadets of the 62 regu­lar course and short service course 43 of the Nigerian De­fence Academy in Kaduna.

He stressed that his ad­ministration would continue to insist on the rule of law, adding that Armed Forces must not deviate from laws of armed conflict as well as ensuring that human rights are not abused.

He reiterated his govern­ment’s commitment to due process, merit and total ob­servance of the rule of law as central pillars of a prosperous and democratic society.

He however, called on the passing out cadets to play their roles as junior lead­ers in tackling the prevail­ing security challenges with guidance and supervision from their superiors who are discharging their duties with diligence. He said, “While I applaud the integrity and sterling record of the Armed Forces as an institution, this administration will insist on the rule of law, and deal with any proven cases of deviation from laws of armed conflict (LOAC), including human rights abuses.

In operational conduct, Nigerians expect our Armed Forces to keep law and order and not to behave like bullies.

“The objectives of our fight against terrorism cannot be realized without a cred­ible and effective military. On your shoulders therefore lies the mechanism to drive the junior leadership in our Armed Forces. The Armed Forces of Nigeria have a world-acclaimed reputation for valour, resilience and loy­al service.

“Let me reiterate the administration’s renewed commitment to due process, merit and total observance of the rule of law as central pillars of a prosperous and democratic society. Rule of law as an element of good governance applies to the Armed Forces as much as any institution in our country.

“It is therefore gratifying to note that recently all three Services have taken steps to not only emphasize strict adherence to rules in area of recruitment, promotions, procurement, project execu­tions, and more importantly, in civil-military relations.

“I would like to commend the NDA Leadership for reminding everybody that NDA is a Professional Mili­tary Education (PME) insti­tution. In this regard, serious efforts have been made to en­sure that academic endeavors must necessarily relate and serve the professional needs of the military.

“I expect that ongoing ef­forts to review all academic courses of study towards en­hancing the professional edu­cation capacity of the military will soon be completed. The message of these ongoing re­views, which I hereby reiter­ate, is that Nigeria is blessed with many civil universities.

“NDA must therefore carve out a niche for itself as a military research university because of its uniqueness, instead of mirror-imaging and competing with civil uni­versities. That is why I want to recognize and commend the current Commandant for continuing to support the new Centres of Excellence estab­lished by his predecessor.

“Let me assure you that the Federal Government will continue to work towards fa­cilitation of the completion of the NDA’s Permanent Site.

“I urge you to remain steadfast in your uncommon task of producing world-class officers who will continue to bring home laurels for the Ni­gerian Defence Academy and for Nigerians.

“For you the passing out Cadets, today marks the end of your very tough training in the Academy and the begin­ning of your career as officers in the Armed Forces.

As you are aware, some of those who started the course with you discontin­ued because they could not withstand the rigours of the physical, mental and intel­lectual challenges which you gallantly endured.

“Furthermore, the nation demands of you exemplary conduct and professionalism wherever you are deployed, be it locally or internal secu­rity operation missions, or in­ternationally in Peace Support Operation missions around the world.”

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